Sunday, August 18, 2013


A quiet pickup? It's a 3.0 Ranger. If you can hear it, it's a bad thing.

Two years ago, I replaced the original muffler with a Thrush turbo muffler. I did that because the original muffler had a few too many rust holes, and because the Thrush muffler it was what I had on hand--it was either that, or a Flowmaster 50 muffler, which would have been even louder. The plan was to live with the results, and to come back with a better plan...later.

The plan didn't involve drone at every speed above 50 mile per hour. And the plan certainly didn't involve headaches after only a few hours of daily driving.

So...later is now!

From front to back: original exhaust, new exhaust.

It is strange to say that I am so excited about a muffler, but it is what it is. The old man in me--who am I kidding, that's pretty much all of me--is excited about the prospect of a quiet car again. The Fiero was never quiet anyway.

The original Ranger exhaust system had 2" piping from the second catalytic converter pipe (there are four converters in a stock '98 Ranger--one on each side of the crossover/Y pipe, and two in the pipe immediately following that pipe). The odd thing is that the second pipe is a 2.25" pipe, which then feeds into the 2" piping that runs to the muffler and through the tailpipe. Why a smaller pipe? Probably for sound control. 2" pipe is quieter than 2.25" pipe. But it also more restrictive.

But, given a vehicle where an aftermarket exists, that isn't an issue. Dynomax makes (what they claim to be) 2.5" intermediate and tailpipes for the Ranger, and everyone makes 2.5" inlet/outlet mufflers--including Walker, which makes multiple Quiet Flow muffler models for that application.

Using Dynomax part numbers 52085 (intermediate pipe) and 55038 (tailepipe) and Walker part number 22648 (muffler)--and a small section of pipe to extend the intermediate pipe, since the pickup in question is an extended cab--the result is a relatively open but quiet exhaust. And one happy driver.